Are there 'good weapons of mass destruction and bad ones? - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-26-2003, 03:23 PM   #1
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Are there 'good weapons of mass destruction and bad ones?

I don't think this thread should be about Iraq or Israel. I'd like to talk about the credibility of our western governments, not only about the US government.

To kick of the discussion here's a statement from Stings favourite Weapon inspectur Buttler.

Quote:
Butler accuses US of nuclear hypocrisy

By Gerard Noonan, Education Editor
October 3 2002


The former chief weapons inspector in Iraq Richard Butler has lashed out at United States "double standards", saying even educated Americans were deaf to arguments about the hypocrisy of their stance on nuclear weapons.

Mr Butler, an Australian, told a seminar at the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies that Americans did not appreciate they could not claim a right to possess nuclear weapons but deny it to other nations.

"My attempts to have Americans enter into discussions about double standards have been an abject failure - even with highly educated and engaged people," Mr Butler said. "I sometimes felt I was speaking to them in Martian, so deep is their inability to understand."

Mr Butler's comments to the seminar, held on September21, are reported in the university's latest newsletter.

"What America totally fails to understand is that their weapons of mass destruction are just as much a problem as are those of Iraq," he said, adding that Hollywood storylines fuelled such attitudes.

Mr Butler said the horror of September 11 had only entrenched the idea in Americans that there are 'good weapons of mass destruction and bad ones'.

Mr Butler, who headed the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq in the early 1990s, is a former Australian ambassador for disarmament.

Earlier, delivering the university's Templeton Lecture, Mr Butler said one of the most difficult times with the Iraqi regime had been dealing with this issue of inconsistency.

"Amongst my toughest moments in Baghdad were when the Iraqis demanded that I explain why they should be hounded for their weapons of mass destruction when, just down the road, Israel was not, even though it was known to possess some 200 nuclear weapons," he said.

"I confess, too, that I flinch when I hear American, British and French fulminations against weapons of mass destruction, ignoring the fact that they are the proud owners of massive quantities of those weapons, unapologetically insisting that they are essential for their national security, and will remain so."

Mr Butler said that manifest unfairness - double standards - produced a situation "that was deeply, inherently unstable".

"This is because human beings will not swallow such unfairness. This principle is as certain as the basic laws of physics itself."

Mr Butler said one problem encountered in Iraq was that materials and technologies employed in making a chemical or biological weapon were identical to those used in a range of benign products for medical, industrial or agricultural use.

The UN Security Council's decision in 1991 to destroy, remove or render harmless Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was unique and far-reaching, far tougher than past attempts to disarm defeated countries like Germany and Japan.
I guess Buttler has a good point that our double standards (good and evil dictators, good and evil WMDs create a credibility gap.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:26 AM   #2
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Only USA has good ones,...ore are preparing to make good ones,..



http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/...946260,00.html
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:34 AM   #3
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There are no good WMDs, there are no bad WMDs. A WMD in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. A WMD in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people.
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen
There are no good WMDs, there are no bad WMDs. A WMD in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. A WMD in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people.
So everyone should have some to protect themself,..
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:13 AM   #5
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Rono:

can you defend your country using WMDs?
Imagine throwing a a-bomb at terrorists in Washington or defending a invasion of New York with Chemical weapons - if you use them for defense you kill / destroy your own land so it seems to mee that the WMDs are for attack or revenge only.

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Old 04-30-2003, 10:12 AM   #6
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While I agree with you completely Diemen, it is also true that no one should really have them. But that brings up the protection of your country argument, which goes back to the untrustworthy people who have them, which kinda makes a circle....nevermind!
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Old 04-30-2003, 10:19 AM   #7
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a WMD in anyone's hand is a bad thing...why is there good people and bad people with WMD...I dont get it.

Dont you have to look at what the WMD symbolizes. Why does it matter what type of person has it..

For any one individual, coutnry, state, goverment or what have you, to have a WMD is to give an ungodly sense of power...power to provoke..power to destroy...and it is that power that is bad..doesnt matter how good the person is who controls that destiny..power corrupts...just my .02
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Old 04-30-2003, 11:14 AM   #8
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There are no good weapons of mass destruction, no matter who's hands they are in. WMD are not used for defense they are used for offence. They are used for revenge and to destroy as much as possible(given the name). If the world were to disarm as a whole I think it would force nations to fight in a much different way. It would force wars to be fought in a dirtier fashion. I don't think it would be as easy for us to jump into the idea of war and would probably come closer to eliminating the chance of a third world war. The hipocracy and arrogance that the US has in this manner, sickens me. This mentality that WMD are only good when they are in the hands of the US or their allies is probably one of the most ignorant ideas I've ever heard. The arms race has put us in a very scary and difficult position.

If anyone hasn't seen it yet, you should check out the program "Approaching Armeggedon", it was on last week, I don't know if it will air again, but it's very enlightening.
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Old 04-30-2003, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
There are no good weapons of mass destruction, no matter who's hands they are in. WMD are not used for defense they are used for offence. They are used for revenge and to destroy as much as possible(given the name). If the world were to disarm as a whole I think it would force nations to fight in a much different way. It would force wars to be fought in a dirtier fashion. I don't think it would be as easy for us to jump into the idea of war and would probably come closer to eliminating the chance of a third world war. The hipocracy and arrogance that the US has in this manner, sickens me. This mentality that WMD are only good when they are in the hands of the US or their allies is probably one of the most ignorant ideas I've ever heard. The arms race has put us in a very scary and difficult position.
The last 50 years has proven this wrong. WMD were held for defensive purposes, keeping us from a third world war (two in less than 25 years was enough). The arms race, as it was once known, is essentially over. The number of active WMD has gone down significantly. Bomb shelters of the '50s are now interesting relics.

The original statement that "American WMD are as much a problem as those of Iraq" is just plain ignorant and unsubstantiated.
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Old 04-30-2003, 11:53 AM   #10
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nbcrusader, how do you see them as different? Ie, not being as much of a problem? As a guess, I'd assume you are meaning that America is not the threat that Iraq and various others could prove or have been proven to be. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways, isn't that a bit of a point anyway? Who's perceived threat do we go by?




** As a reminder, if we can please keep this away from Iraq and the present situation as much as possible**
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
The last 50 years has proven this wrong. WMD were held for defensive purposes, keeping us from a third world war (two in less than 25 years was enough). The arms race, as it was once known, is essentially over. The number of active WMD has gone down significantly. Bomb shelters of the '50s are now interesting relics.
Please explain this to me? We have the power to eliminate small countries from the face of the earth. How is this a good thing? How is holding WMD a defensive move? Why, because we can just threaten them by holding a big stick? Even if we never do launch them, and remember we are the only nation that actually has, there are other dangers in just pocessing them. Please try and explain to me how this is a good thing.
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:07 PM   #12
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nbcrusader - aren't you a bit biased to judge if you are good or bad? let somebody else make that decision
offcourse you don't see your WMD as a threat - only b/c you are not under that threat and those bombs will not fall on your roof - ask Iraqi eople what they think about it...

and by the way - how do you defend your country using cluster bombs in Iraq - the weapon banned by the geneva convention
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:43 PM   #13
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Heh, I was just using the Charlton Heston quote that U2 used before Bullet The Blue Sky in the Elevation shows (with "WMDs" replacing "guns"). I don't actually quite believe it.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:00 PM   #14
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Diemen - I got that, but I have to admit only after I read it for second time...
it had some familiar ring
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Please explain this to me? We have the power to eliminate small countries from the face of the earth. How is this a good thing? How is holding WMD a defensive move? Why, because we can just threaten them by holding a big stick? Even if we never do launch them, and remember we are the only nation that actually has, there are other dangers in just pocessing them. Please try and explain to me how this is a good thing.
Fifty-eight years without a world war is a good starting place.

Is the world at perfect peace? No
Will the world ever be at perfect peace? Not this world.
Does holding a big stick keep those with smaller sticks from attacking? Yes. (I realize things like 9/11 will happen, but no country has threatened the US)

The peace you and I enjoy in this country has been preserved, in part, by the military arsenal of this country. Every American under 45 has lived without direct threat attack or risk of mandatory military service. Not everyone has the luxury of such peace.

Back to the author's original premise: American WMDs are as much a problem as those of Iraq. Going beyond the statement that "weapons are bad", how does the author substantiate this statement?
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